Thursday, June 30, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Size Matters



What’s the largest your personal library has ever been?
What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time?
Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been?
Or have you down-sized?
What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned
(not counting your pre-reading years)?


Mulling this over, I think,
How do I measure the size of my personal library?

I could choose strong adjectives.
Big, of course.
Or enormous.
Gargantuan. Voluminous. Massive. Vast....

What about choosing a good unit of measure?
Number of volumes, perhaps?
Number of bookshelves?
I know that at one time I had ten huge bookshelves,
with over 5,000 books.

How about a formula:
Amount of space taken up by books relative to the amount of living space in my house?
(That sounds fancy.)
To put that into perspective, my house is 1400 square feet.
That's...uh...5,000 divided by 1400...which is...well, 3.571428 books per square foot...

I like this:

Books are a ubiquitous presence in my life.
Books are in the study, under my bed, beside the bed, on the nightstand, on the kitchen table, in my purse, under the couch, in my car, in my backpack, in the kitchen cupboard, on my walls as art, at my school library, in the attic, in a discard box, in the garage, on the front porch, on my reading chair, in my mailbox, in a package for the post office, by the computer, in a basket in the bathroom, on my Kindle, on my iPad, on my computer, in my dreams....




And don't forget!
Today is the last day to enter
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...


What is Booking Through Thursday? It's a meme that has archives going back to May of 2005. Every Thursday, bloggers can visit the site to see a new question. Copy and paste the question to your blog and then answer it. Then leave a link to your actual post in the comments.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Tea Time

For more Wordless Wednesdays,
click here.

Top Ten Bookish Websites




Use: I joined my first online book group in 1999, Bookgrouplist.
I first began to review my books at a Yahoo group
and later joined a birthday book group here.
I still belong to BGL, along with the nonfiction group,
and 1001 Children's Books You Must Read group.




Use: I joined BookCrossing in 2002.
So far I've released over 6,000 books.
User name: debnance



Half.com
Use: Buying books for half the price




Use: Keeping my wishlist here.




Use: Cataloging my books, posting book reviews.
User name: debnance




Use:  Trading books.
User name: debnance



Use: Sharing book recommendations, posting book reviews.
User name: Debbie (Readerbuzz) Nance




Website for My Public Library
Use: Requesting library books.



Use: Finding best price on used books.



Use: Finding books at libraries




And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Salon: Une Petite Visite à Paris




I can't stay away.

I couldn't manage to get myself to Paris this year like I did last year. Not par avion, anyway.

I did squeeze in a quick trip to Paris this week via my favorite mode of transportation, le livre, the book.

I read David McCullough's The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris yesterday and then immediately picked up the fabulous children's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret today.

In The Greater Journey, McCullough relates the stories of Americans who benefited by spending time in Paris. You probably know about Ernest Hemingway and M.F.K. Fischer and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Benjamin Franklin, but do you know the stories of étrangers John Singer Sargeant and Mary Cassatt and Henry Longfellow and Robert Louis Stevenson and James Fenimore Cooper and Augustus Saint-Gaudens? McCullough tells tales of the American writers, artists, doctors, and others qui est venu à Paris between 1830 and 1900, revealing how ideas were shared and enlarged and improved by spending time in this amazing city. It was eerie and phénoménal, reading about Americans who walked, a hundred and fifty years ago, the same streets I did last summer, who stood where I stood, in Jardin du Luxembourg, at Saint-Sulpice, at the Arc de Triomphe, at Montmartre, at the Louvre. I was fascinated to see that these people wrote of how being in Paris changed them; I felt the same way when I returned home last summer. Paris m'a transformé.


And then I stepped into 1931 Paris via The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Author/illustrator Brian Selznick created an enormous 534-page picture book, the story of a boy left orphaned by the death of his parents and his uncle who must keep the clocks going in a train station in Paris. The boy, Hugo Cabret, works in his spare time to finish a project his father began, a mechanical man. It is when Hugo meets a toyshop owner and his ward that Hugo begins to finally complete the mechanical man and discovers what the mysteries behind what the mechanical man can do. This story has it all. Magic. Movies. Trains. Clocks. And, of course, Paris.

I can't seem to get Paris out of my head.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

"All a poet can do is warn."


Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop
hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This week's prompt: 
 Should literature have a social, political, or any other type of agenda?
Does having a clear agenda enhance or detract from its literary value?


My reply:

"To have something to say is
a question of...endless(ly) trying
to dig out the essential truth, the essential justice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The artist is not a person endowed with free will
who seeks his own ends,
but one who allows art
to realize its supreme purpose through him.
- Carl Jung

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.
Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing,
which is one reason why they write so little."
- Anne Lamott

"Remarks are not literature."
- Gertrude Stein
 
"All a poet can do is warn."
- Wilfred Owen

"All that I hope to say in books,
all that I ever hope to say,
 is that I love the world."
— E.B. White


This blog hop is open to blogs
that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction,
classic literature, and general literary discussion.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: BROKE AND BOOKISH 1 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY -- Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Book Blogger and a Bookish Person

BROKE AND BOOKISH 1 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY
Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Book Blogger and a Bookish Person

How I became a blogger in the first place.


The first blogging event I participated in.


The first weekly blogging event I participated in.

I read over 100 children's nonfiction
picture books in order to choose the best books of the year.
Delightful.


All the amazing prize packages from bloggers
and free books sent from authors and publishers!






3. Finding Cool Book-ish Things like



1. Amazing Book Bloggers:



And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday Salon: Hospital

You haven't seen much of me this week.

I've spent last nine days with my mom at the hospital at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  I will undoubtedly be spending the next days, weeks, months helping my mom and dad at their home.

I'm still reading. I'm still blogging. I'm here. Be patient with me.




While I have these hours today, while my aunt is here helping out today, let me catch up on the reviews of the books I've read:


History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life by Jill Bialosky
Bialosky uses the diaries and letters of her younger sister, Kim, to tell the story of Kim's life and death. Kim was only twenty-one when she fought with her boyfriend and chose to kill herself. Bialosky has reflected on the events for twenty years before writing this book, a story that includes little poems and reflections from Kim's writings and little stories from the author's own life. It's a poignant memoir.


Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg
Elizabeth Berg, your first half-dozen books were keepers for me; I could read lines from these books over and over again and they would make me cry and laugh at the same time, every time. Not so your last three novels. (I feel terribly sad telling you this. Yet I feel I must tell you this.)

You start with a promising premise: A man and woman marry, both feeling great misgivings about the wedding, and later divorce. But it never felt like you loved these characters like I felt you loved your characters in past books. And that's what I thought was missing from the last few books.

I probably will continue to try your novels, but if it continues to feel like you are just going through the motions, I probably won't finish them. (Please know that I write this painful review only because I loved your first books so much.) Honestly, the design of the cover is the best part of this book.

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
This is a zinger of a novel. (And why, why, why, I ask, am I reading this novel at this time? So mysterious.) No one is looking after Mom and, after a while, Mom just wanders off. Her family doesn't even realize she is missing until she has been lost for some time.

And where does she go? No one knows for sure, but her family sees her, or what they think is her, everywhere.

Told alternately from the point-of-view of the various family members, this is a powerful story. I think I would love it even if I wasn't trying harder than I've ever tried in my life to Look After Mom myself.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Do they get any sadder than this story? It's the story of a family, trying to survive in the wilds of 1870 Texas while the head-of-the-household is off herding cattle, who takes up with an old ugly mutt. The older son, Travis, is trying to protect his mother and little brother from wild bulls and boar coons and bears and sickness and hunger. In the process the family comes to love an old good-for-nothing dog. (And you know what happens....I'm not giving anything away, right?) The death of Old Yeller has to be one of the most painful scenes in childhood literature.


The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared
A young girl and her dad---an elementary school librarian---decide to make a vow to read together every night. And they do so, extending the original promise from 100 nights in a row to just seeing how long "The Streak" could last. Amazingly, the girl and her dad ended up reading 3,218 nights in a row, until the girl went off to college.

Alice Ozma (Do you see how much reading impacted these lives? Even our author's name!) tells the story of the reading adventures she and her dad shared for all those years in a lovely story of the power of sharing books.

Rescue by Anita Shreve
Peter Webster is an EMT. One night, he runs across a drunk driver who has smashed her car into a tree. Webster finds himself drawn to this woman and he begins to visit her and help her. Before he knows it, he has a child with her and marries her. The woman, Sheila, soon abandons her husband and young daughter.

Fast forward to present day and we find Webster trying to deal with his teenage daughter, now deeply troubled. Webster reconnect with Sheila in an attempt to save his daughter.

You know what you get with Anita Shreve. She will not let you down with this book.

Photo Op: 52 Inspirational Projects for the Adventurous Image-Maker by Kevin Meredith
Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters' Guide to Shooting from the Heart

Though I've signed up for one and attempted to sign up for another, I haven't actually attended a photography class yet. It will happen one of these days. In the meantime, I'll focus on reading wonderful photography books like the two I've read in the last few weeks. These books are filled with great ideas for great picture taking; I probably could just skip the photography class and try out ideas from these books.


And that's it for the reviews. I could certainly use some light reading at this time in my life. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...

Anna and the French Kiss!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday: Beautiful & Pointless




'This book is about modern poetry. But a book about modern poetry can't be as confidently "about" its subject as a book about, say, college football or soap operas or dog shows or the pastas of Northern Italy. That's because poetry is poetry---it supposedly comes to us wrapped in mystery, veiled in shadow, cloaked in doubt, swaddled in...well, you get the idea. Consequently, the potential audience for a book about poetry nowadays consists of two mutually uncomprehending factions: the poets, for whom poetry is a matter of casual, day-to-day conversation; and the rest of the world, for whom it's a subject of at best mild and confused interest.'
from Beautiful & Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry by David Orr


Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by A Few More Pages.
Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read,
making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.
If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.


And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...

Anna and the French Kiss!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top Ten "Awww" Moments In Books

Top Ten "Awww" Moments in Books


Awww:  Those odd twists that propel a story in a direction the reader did not anticipate.
Shhh!  Don't give away the Awww....


Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis


The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Wife by Bharati Mukherjee


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry


We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver


The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid




Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


Old Yeller by John Gipson


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne


A Prayer for Owen Meany



And don't forget about
my June Giveaway here at Readerbuzz...



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.